Autoantibodies Link to Neural-Tube Defect in Irish ExaminedLast Updated: July 08, 2009. The presence in mother's blood of autoantibodies against folate receptors does not appear to be a factor in the incidence of neural-tube defects among the Irish, according to a study in the July 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
WEDNESDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- The presence in mother's blood of autoantibodies against folate receptors does not appear to be a factor in the incidence of neural-tube defects among the Irish, according to a study in the July 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Anne M. Molloy, Ph.D., of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and colleagues conducted two studies into the relationship between pregnancies complicated by neural-tube defects and the presence of autoantibodies against folate receptors. In one study, frozen blood samples from 103 mothers who had neural-tube defect complications in 1993 to 1994 were compared to 103 mothers without the complication from the same time period, as well as to 58 women who had never been pregnant and 36 men. In the second study, fresh blood samples from 37 mothers with the complication were compared to 22 mothers without the complication, 10 women who had never been pregnant and nine men.
In study one, the researchers found that blocking autoantibodies were detected in 17 percent of the mothers with the neural-tube complication, compared to 13 percent of mothers without the complication (odds ratio, 1.54), and binding autoantibodies were found in 29 percent of the mothers with the complication and 32 percent without it (odds ratio, 0.82). Using fresh samples, study two had similar results.
"The presence and titer of maternal folate-receptor autoantibodies were not significantly associated with a neural-tube defect-affected pregnancy in this Irish population," the authors conclude.
Two study authors reported serving as consultants for IMMCO Diagnostics and having applied for a patent for a folate-receptor autoantibody test kit.
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